Breakthrough in HIV/AIDS Prevention

Drug drops HIV infection risk in gay men

The New England Journal of Medicine reported the results of a study of 2,500 high-risk gay men online today. The study concluded that by taking a single pill daily containing two HIV drugs can reduce the risk of contracting the virus by more than 70 percent. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a major sponsor of the study, said the results only pertains to men who have sex with other men.

The study was conducted by a team of international researchers who studied gay men and transgendered women who have sex with men in six countries around the world. Those who took the pill reduced the chances of becoming infected with HIV despite engaging in high-risk behavior. The risk of HIV infection, according to the study, was lowered only when subjects regularly took the medication.

Side effects are reportedly mild. The subjects, says the journal, are being studied for another 18 months to determine long-term effects. The drug is also expected to be tested on women.

The Mazzoni Center, one of the country’s only health centers specializing in LGBT health in Philadelphia, offers confidential, anonymous HIV testing with results that are available in 20 minutes. “Our role is to support and assist people in finding feasible ways to reduce their risk for contracting or transmitting HIV,” says Mazzoni’s CTR/STD Services Manager Rashita Hurt.

Read more about HIV testing today.